DURHAM, N.C. – Six Blue Devil swimmers are set to open competition at the 2014 NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship Thursday, March 19 at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. Seniors Lauren Weaver and Christine Wixted will make their second consecutive appearances at the national championship meet, which continues through Saturday, March 22 in Minneapolis. The two veteran swimmers will also be joined by sophomores Kathryn Eckhart and Chelsea Ye and freshmen Maddie Rusch and Jessie Sutherland.
Preliminaries will begin at 12 p.m. ET Thursday, Friday and Saturday, followed by the finals session at 8 p.m. ET each day. Friday and Saturday’s finals sessions will be broadcast live on ESPN3, while additional coverage will also be aired on tape delay Wednesday, Apr. 2 at 9 p.m. on ESPNU. For more information and to view the complete schedule of events, visit the NCAA Championship homepage.
Weaver, an NCAA Championship participant last season in the 50-yard freestyle, qualified for this year’s championship individually in the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle and the 100 butterfly. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, she claimed All-ACC honors with a pair of third-place finishes and program records in the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly at last month’s conference meet in Greensboro, N.C.
Wixted, a four-time All-ACC performer, also heads to the NCAA meet for the second-straight year after competing in the 100 and 200 breaststroke last March in Indianapolis. Coming off of fourth-place showings in both breaststroke events at this year’s ACC Championship, she will also compete in the 200 IM this week.
Rookies Sutherland and Rusch joined Weaver and Wixted in helping Duke qualify the 200 medley relay, the first in program history to advance to the NCAA Championship. Weaver, Rusch, Eckhart and Ye will represent the Blue Devils in the 200 freestyle relay after posting an NCAA provisional time and program record of 1:30.01 at the ACC Championship.
The top eight finishers in each event at the NCAA Championships will earn All-America First Team honors, while places nine through 16 will garner honorable mention All-America accolades.
Thursday’s events in Minneapolis include the preliminaries and finals of the 200 freestyle relay, 500 freestyle, 200 IM, 50 freestyle, 400 medley relay and one-meter diving. Wixted will take to the pool in the 200 IM, followed by Weaver in the 50 freestyle, while the Blue Devils will also compete in the opening event of the national championship, the 200 freestyle relay.
For updates throughout the NCAA Championship, follow the Blue Devils on Twitter (@Duke_SWIM_DIVE).